‘Knotty Crafts’: How young people in Kashmir turned adversity into opportunity to create the most valuable crochet brand

Srinagar: Six years ago, 23-year-old Nazar Nasir was struggling with an abnormally fast heartbeat and anxiety attacks. That was until he saw his sister practicing the art of crocheting. Captivated, he tries his hand at knitting. Not only was he addicted to the craft, but he also became a source of healing.

`Knotty Crafts’: how young people in Kashmir turned adversity into opportunity to create the most valuable crochet brand 7

Crocheting is a knitting art form that involves a hook and yarn. It can be done by hand or by machine and involves creating stitches and loops of yarn in a row, flat or in the round. Gradually, Nazar, a resident of Lal Bazar in the Old City, learned the nuances of crochet through many tutorials on Youtube. It didn’t take him long to master the craft.

Today, her hobby has turned into a successful crochet business through which Nazar sells bespoke handmade accessories. He has four employees under him and more than six thousand followers on his Instagram account, Knotty Crafts.

1a39ef212ac325d649e2670be9887056
`Knotty Crafts’: how young people in Kashmir turned adversity into opportunity to create the most valuable crochet brand 8

“It all started in 2016 when the valley was closed for six months. I didn’t have much to do at that time. Also, the frequent bouts of rapid heart rate made it worse for me. I suffer from Paroxysmal Supraventricular Tachycardia (PSVT), a type of abnormal heart rhythm and it has added to my level of anxiety. That’s when I discovered the craft and there was no turning back,” Nazar said in a freewheeling chat with The Kashmir Monitor.

87da50956e2da379a13f70cdfa089fce
`Knotty Crafts’: how young people in Kashmir turned adversity into opportunity to create the most valuable crochet brand 9

He said crochet stitches help him relax and de-stress. “Interestingly, the frequency of my PSVT attacks stopped to a large extent after pursuing this craft. More importantly, the joy of seeing something beautiful grow out of colored threads gives me purpose. and motivates me to improve my craft every day,” said Nazar, who is pursuing her MA in English Literature at Amar Singh College, Srinagar.

He remembers looking through a few crochet videos on social media in 2017 and thinking about giving it a shot. “I dealt with those initial hiccups and disheartening comments from people around. They told me it was more of a ‘female-centric craft’ and that I shouldn’t do it. However , I threw off that preconceived idea and continued to do my research on how to crochet, and soon I started experimenting with basic patterns and making custom knits for my friends and family. When they saw my work, they immediately liked and appreciated it,” he said.

2e9b443befc4b49210b951e6a2dda061
KB

The appreciation motivated him to present his work to the general public. “I opened an Instagram handle – Knotty Crafts – where I displayed some of my handmade products. To my surprise, I received a large number of orders.

Nazar specializes in a range of handcrafted products including shoulder bags, plant hangers, picture frames, dolls, sweaters, accessories, hats, socks, gloves and home decor items. They cost between 500 and 7000 rupees depending on customer requirements. On average, he receives about 20 to 30 orders per month. Orders are usually placed by direct messages on his Instagram account.

b61417377873ed5ff6a2d23dcbacf9e2
`Knotty Crafts’: how young people in Kashmir turned adversity into opportunity to create the most valuable crochet brand 10

The youngster intends to expand his business in the future by opening a full-fledged studio and a website. “Crocheting is not my side business. I plan to make it a full-fledged job after I finish my master’s degree. Currently, I have hired four employees from my locality. They help me fill orders. I usually spends four hours a day crocheting, on holidays it can be up to 10 hours,” he said.

He believes crochet should be enjoyed and savored as an art. “Kashmir has always been known for its rich handicrafts and art form. We should be proud to contribute to it in some way. I’m happy, I’m doing my part and I will continue to strive.

About Tracy G. Larimore

Check Also

KY Holiday Shopping Bonanza! The Return of the Kraftucky Arts & Crafts Exhibit

The Owensboro Convention Center will be brimming with handmade items from many local and regional …